Treadmills in a row

How to achieve fitness goals on campus

January 2, 2020

If you’re in search of a fitness plan to kick off the new year, look no further. Wellness resources are abundant and well within reach right on campus. Centrally located, the year-and-a-half old Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center offers 85,000 square feet of fitness and wellness bliss. Students who are currently enrolled have access to the facility with their Lynx Card, and staff and faculty pay just $49 per month, or they can try 30 days for $30

The hype of new year’s resolutions can make getting started seem overwhelming, said Amber Long, executive director for CU Denver Wellness & Recreation Services. She encourages those with wellness goals to focus on the action rather than the outcome.

“If you want to get active on campus, the CU Denver Student Wellness Center has a variety of programs and services like swimming lessons, personal training, intramural sports, climbing wall workshops, group fitness, and cooking demonstrations designed to help people of all experience levels create healthy habits and have fun,” Long said.

The benefits of any type of exercise are overwhelming, explains Benjamin Greenwood, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology who specializes in exercise neuroscience.

“Physical activity literally changes our brains in ways that make us resilient to the negative effects that everyday stressors can have on our mood, attention, learning and memory, and sleep,” Greenwood said. “What many people don’t realize is we don’t need to exercise like super athletes to benefit from physical activity. While more can be better, simply going on a daily walk can have a big impact on our physical and mental health.”

Getting started is often the hardest part, so we’ve compiled a list of five activities to try on campus.

Get a personal fitness guru

Use the Wellness & Recreation Services Wellness Coaching Request form to connect with a certified health coach who will act as your very own fitness guru. Together you will develop a plan for personal wellness based on your strengths and challenges. If you have a friend or colleague in mind, refer them using the Wellness & Recreation Services Wellness Referral form. The initial wellness coaching session is free of cost to students, faculty and staff. 

If you are looking for more guidance and accountability, the 60 Day Challenge pairs you with a personal trainer for 60 days to get lasting results. “Your trainer will provide fitness, nutrition, and stress management guidance to help you discover the best version of yourself,” Long said.

For more information on health coaching or personal training, contact

Kettle bells on a shelf in a row

Try a group class 

A set time and place, along with a group of people to hold you accountable, can make all the difference. The Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center­ offers 13 types of group fitness classes, including barre, cycle, yoga basics­—even a high-energy workout in the water. And, unlike pricey boutique studios, all classes are free for members. 

Group fitness kickboxing class
The wellness center offers a group fitness kickboxing class.

Play outside

For the outdoorsy type, the Adventure Desk in the Student Wellness Center rents out equipment for everything from camping to climbing to snowshoeing. Daily rental fees range from $3 for a sleeping pad to $20 for a stand-up paddle board.

Or play inside

Get vertical indoors at a standalone bouldering wall or 38-foot climbing wall for roped climbing. The wellness center offers clinics and workshops, plus free equipment checkout for all members. Routes are reset frequently for a new challenge.

Male on climbing wall in the Student Wellness Center.
The 38-foot climbing wall in the Student Wellness Center overlooks the Mile High City.


You’ve crushed a workout and need some R & R. Head to the third floor of the wellness center and spend 30 minutes in one of two meditation/relaxation rooms.